For the past three Health Tips we have been sharing the positive and negative aspects of various diets. In this Health Tip we are going to take a serious look at a potentially dangerous aspect of numerous diets – consuming too much of our food in its cooked form.
God’s Original Intent
There is absolutely no way anyone can argue with what I am about to say: “God designed every animal he created, as well as His human creation, to consume all their food in its raw and uncooked form!”
You just can’t argue with that! And if consuming our food in its raw and uncooked form was God’s original intent, would that not be the very best form in which we should consume our food today?
Scriptures are clear -human life began in a garden:
“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the GARDEN of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it.”
What Was God’s Purpose For Placing Man In A Garden?
God placed man in a garden so he could “dress it and keep it” and thus have a source of nourishment for his body:
“AND GOD SAID, Behold, I have given you every herb (VEGETABLE) bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the FRUIT of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat (FOOD, FUEL).”
Now we know that all these garden foods God told Adam to consume in order to nourish his body were in their raw, uncooked form! How do we know that? Because fire had not as yet been discovered and for sure there were no electric or gas ranges or microwave ovens available to cook these garden foods.
And as for the animals – ever since creation and to this present day – every animal in the wild, whether plant eating or carnivorous, has eaten their food in its raw, uncooked form as served up by nature.
For proof, just take a walk into nature or the garden and you will see the rabbit nibbling on the living plants in nature or the garden and the deer eating the living leaves of the apple trees in the orchard.
And as for the carnivorous animals, lions and tigers and other flesh eating animals, what do they eat?
Is it not the uncooked carcass of a plant eating animal like the gazelle, who previously nourished its body with the living plants! Go to the zoo and notice what they feed the carnivorous animals. Is it not chunks of raw flesh? Why do they still to this very day provide carnivorous animals with RAW flesh? Because they know the animal will not live long if the flesh is in cooked form.
God’s original intent was that all His animal and human creations were to consume their food (the fuel for their bodies) in its living, raw, uncooked form! With that as a little introduction, let’s take a look at what is wrong with cooked food:
Cooked Foods Are Damaged Foods
An abundance of research reveals that a high percentage of the nutrients found in food are destroyed during the cooking process – up to as much as 80%. There is some variation in research findings, but most agree that over 50% of B vitamins are destroyed in the cooking process.
Thiamine (B1) losses have been found to be as high as 96%, with biotin (B7) losses up to 72%. Vitamin C losses are somewhere between 70% and 80%, and the loss of nutrients goes on and on as you check out the nutrients lost as a result of cooking various food items. Occasionally a nutrient is more bioavailable as a result of cooking, like the lycopene found in tomatoes, but that is rare.
The Max Planck Institute for Nutritional Research in Germany has found that there is only 50% bioavailability in animal protein that has been cooked. Cooking also alters protein into substances that disrupt cellular function while speeding up the disease process, along with the acceleration of the aging process.
Cooking also coagulates the bioactive mineral/protein complexes and therefore disrupts mineral absorption. Cooking foods disrupts RNA and DNA structure, and destroys most of the nutritive value of fats, while creating carcinogenic and mutagenic structures in the fats, which produce free radicals.
I like what Gabriel Cousins has to say about cooked food in his book “Conscious Eating”:
“There is an old saying, ‘If it is not broken, don’t try and fix it.’ I believe this applies to the way Mother Nature has presented us with her food, in an ‘unbroken’ way. Nevertheless, humans insist on virtually unrestricted use of cooked food.”
In order to achieve the goal of ultimate health, we must ELIMINATE the foods that are creating the physical problems we are experiencing on the one hand (like animal sourced foods), while providing our bodies with the foods containing the nutrients our body needs to rebuild and heal itself on the other hand, primarily raw plant sourced foods.
That is the recipe for achieving the ultimate health God designed for each of us. So what have we learned thus far?
Cooked Animal Sourced Food Diets Are The Most Dangerous
The most dangerous diets are those containing high amounts of cooked animal flesh or dairy. And it doesn’t matter what animal that food is coming from, or whether it is the flesh or the milk of that animal, or commercially or organically grown, all animal source foods are dangerous foods.
Thus, ALL diets promoting large amounts of cooked animal sourced foods, of both flesh and dairy origin, have the potential of doing great harm to the body. Diets in this category would include the Atkins Diet and the Maker’s Diet, along with any other diet that promotes a lot of animal foods.
Plant Based Diets Are Far Superior Even If Cooked
Any 100% plant based diet, even if most of those foods are in cooked form, yet have excluded all animal sourced foods, have great benefit and places them into a much healthier category than the cooked animal sourced food diets.
Eliminating all animal source foods is a huge step in the right direction, and if all we did was eliminate all animal sourced foods — even if what we substituted for the animal source foods (cooked plant based foods) was not optimal — this step would result in dramatically improved health.
Following are a few diets that consist of no animal sourced foods but are high in cooked plant sourced foods that will prove the above statement to be true:
The McDougall Diet
Dr. John McDougall, a medical doctor, published “The McDougall Plan” in 1983, and has since published numerous other books. He is a very successful practicing physician who uses a dietary approach in the treatment of disease. Dr. McDougall is a friend of Hallelujah Acres, has been a guest speaker at our Annual Health Ministers Reunion, and appears in the Hallelujah Acres produced video: “The Miraculous Self Healing Body.
In Dr. McDougall’s book, “The McDougall Plan” he covers such subjects as: ‘Meat, poultry, and fish are avoided on a health supporting diet,’ providing abundant research to explain why; ‘Dairy products and eggs are avoided on a health supporting diet’; ‘A health-supporting diet is plentiful in complex carbohydrates but limits unprotected simple sugars’. He also comes out strongly against alcohol and caffeine, while encouraging exercise.
Multitudes have seen their health improve after adopting the McDougall Plan, however, I am somewhat against this plan because it is comprised of predominantly cooked plant source foods. To its credit it does include a few pieces of raw fruit each day along with a raw salad and often raw carrot or celery sticks, but no vegetable juices.
The Dean Ornish Diet
The Dean Ornish Diet, like The McDougall Diet, promotes a primarily cooked plant-based diet while also totally eliminating all animal source foods. The Dean Ornish Diet has helped multitudes obtain improved health and is even recommended by some insurance companies for the recovery from cardiovascular problems.
Both of these diets, even though they are comprised of predominantly cooked plant sourced foods, produce wonderful healing results. I believe the primary reason for these great healing results is because each have eliminated all animal sourced foods and do provide a limited amount of uncooked, raw plant sourced foods.
The Macrobiotic Diet
From my research and listening to the testimonies of a number of people who have followed the macrobiotic diet, and though it is comprised of a 100% plant based diet, this diet has some real limitations and potential dangers.
The modern macrobiotic Diet began with George Ohsawa in Japan. He had a student named Michio Kushi, who brought the diet to America in the early 1960s. The basic diet, as taught by Kushi, promoted cooked grains, especially cooked rice, with rice being 50% of every meal.
Vegetables, predominantly cooked were to be 20-30% of the diet. Cooked beans and sea vegetables, with seasonings from miso and tamari were to be 5-10%. The diet also promotes the cooking of all fruits.
The macrobiotic diet is a low-protein and extremely high cooked carbohydrate diet. Because it avoids high-protein flesh and dairy, many have experienced improvement in their health in the short term following this diet.
However, because it consists of primarily cooked starch foods, containing extremely limited amounts raw plant foods, it fails to meet long-term nutritional needs and, over time, most followers of this diet begin to manifest physical problems.
I remember well a couple in their 60s who came to one of my seminars many years ago and shared that about 10 years prior to adopting The Hallelujah Diet, they had eliminated all animal foods from their diet and adopted the macrobiotic diet. On the macrobiotic diet they had seen all their physical problems disappear.
They became enthralled with the diet, bought every macrobiotic recipe book available; attended the annual macrobiotic conferences; and proclaimed the diet to all who would listen. But slowly, as time passed, the physical problems they had seen go away when they first adopted the macrobiotic diet, began to return.
They had attributed the return of these physical problems as just being a sign of their growing older. But to their great surprise and delight, after adopting The Hallelujah Diet, even though they were now in their 70’s, they saw all their physical problems once again go away.
I have never forgotten that testimony because it so well illustrates the improved health one usually experiences when they stop consuming animal source foods. But just the elimination of animal source foods and replacing them with predominantly cooked plant foods does not create the stable, long-term, high-energy, radiant health, a properly implemented and predominant living plant foods diet provides.
A vegan diet is 100% plant based. This is the strictest form of a plant-based diet; these individuals consume no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy. Plant based diets are for the most part, especially when comprised of a high percentage of raw plant foods, rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals.
According to the USDA Agriculture Research Center, a diet high in plant-based foods has been shown to protect against many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and birth defects. It can also contribute significantly to reducing obesity, preventing cataracts, and lowering cholesterol.